HD-Vinyl 24/96 (RCA) Ludwig van Beethoven – The 5 Piano Concerti (Rubinstein/Leinsdorf)

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No one has quite the presence and panache and mastery of line of the wonderful Artur Rubinstein. And his piano sound is very distinctive and refreshing in spite of the age of his recordings. He has a way of holding one’s interest and delight through the special quality of understanding the drama of all he plays. “Rubinstein,” a prominent conductor once quipped, “is the only pianist you could wake up at midnight and ask to play any of the 38 major piano concertos.” Hyperbole aside, Rubinstein was indeed one of the most versatile and commanding of all virtuosos, and he left a series of recordings for piano and orchestra that are still big sellers decades later. These recordings, made in 1965-67, demonstrate Rubinstein was just as “on top” of these works technically as he was in the earlier set with Krips (1956) and much more “into” them musically. In addition, the playing is notably more alert and straightforward than in his later set with Barenboim (1975).

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Artur Rubinstein
Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Erich Leinsdorf
Vinyl (1965-67)
Number of discs: 4
Format: Flac
Label: RCA
DR-Analysis:
DR 13
Size: 3.31 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

To be sure, purists will quibble with Rubinstein’s use of rubato and approach to ornamentation, (not to mention his use of Busoni’s editions of Beethoven’s cadenzas) but these performances are a joy from the first bar to the last. Leinsdorf, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, are to be credited for a fine accompaniment, far more detailed and sensitive than in the earlier set with Krips.

With his specialty in Chopin, Rubinstein brought a sophisticated, somewhat underplayed style to Beethoven that relies on charm more than power. He doesn’t miniaturize the music, though, and we have the pleasure of hearing his lovely touch, as in the slow movement of Concerto #1–it’s like taking Beethoven out of the concert hall into an intimate parlor. Leinsdorf is on best behavior in the First, also, and RCA has recorded the BSO well. As the reviewer below states, there’s a good deal of inner detail, and Leinsdorf never dawdles.

Concerto #3 is a larger work, and pianists have the choice to play it like a mini-Empreror Concerto (grand and romantic) or remain in the classical style of the first two concertos. Leinsdorf begins with a strong, big-boned accompaniment, but Rubinstein isn’t comfortable there, so once the soloist enters we get a tug of war between his smaller reading, with lots of expressive rubato, and Leinsdorf’s robust one. Rubinstein gets to set the tone for the slow movement, which he makes sound charming and flexible. The finale is fairly low-key but nicely articulated by both pianist and orchestra. Rubinstein is again full of little expressive touches.

Tracklist

  Concerto No. 1 In C, Op. 15
A1 First Movement: Allegro Con Brio 17:05
A2 Second Movement: Largo 11:08
B1 Third Movement: Rondo. Allegro Scherzando 9:10
  Concerto No. 2 In B-Flat, Op. 19
B2 First Movement: Allegro Con Brio 13:40
B3 Second Movement: Adagio 8:50
C1 Third Movement: Rondo. Molto Allegro 6:00
  Concerto No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 37
C2 First Movement: Allegro Con Brio 17:10
D1 Second Movement: Largo 8:53
D2 Third Movement: Rondo. Allegro 8:50
  Concerto No. 4 In G, Op. 58
E First Movement: Allegro Moderato 18:30
F1 Second Movement: Andante Con Moto 4:36
F2 Third Movement: Rondo. Vivace 9:58
  Concerto No. 5 In E-Flat, Op. 73 (Emperor)
G First Movement: Allegro 20:10
H1 Second Movement: Adagio Un Poco Mosso 7:44
H2 Third Movement: Rondo. Allegro 9:50

———————————————————————————————-
Analyzed folder: /96k LvB – The 5 Piano Concerti – Rubinstein, Leinsdorf
———————————————————————————————-
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
———————————————————————————————-
DR13        -0.90 dB     -18.33 dB     A1 Concerto No. 1 In C, Op. 15 – First Movement- Allegro Con Brio.aif
DR13        -5.36 dB     -22.72 dB     A2 Concerto No. 1 In C, Op. 15 – Second Movement- Largo.aif
DR12        -2.15 dB     -18.44 dB     B1 Concerto No. 1 In C, Op. 15 – Third Movement- Rondo. Allegro Scherzando.aif
DR13        -1.73 dB     -18.60 dB     B2 Concerto No. 2 In B-Flat, Op. 19 – First Movement- Allegro Con Brio.aif
DR13        -2.01 dB     -20.40 dB     B3 Concerto No. 2 In B-Flat, Op. 19 – Second Movement- Adagio.aif
DR11        -1.75 dB     -16.36 dB     C1 Concerto No. 2 In B-Flat, Op. 19 – Third Movement- Rondo. Molto Allegro.aif
DR13        -1.15 dB     -19.51 dB     C2 Concerto No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 37 – First Movement- Allegro Con Brio.aif
DR13        -6.88 dB     -25.27 dB     D1 Concerto No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 37 – Second Movement- Largo.aif
DR14        -0.88 dB     -20.44 dB     D2 Concerto No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 37 – Third Movement- Rondo. Allegro.aif
DR13        -0.88 dB     -20.25 dB     E Concerto No. 4 In G, Op. 58 – First Movement- Allegro Moderato.aif
DR12        -5.22 dB     -23.65 dB     F1 Concerto No. 4 In G, Op. 58 – Second Movement- Andante Con Moto.aif
DR13        -0.89 dB     -19.28 dB     F2 Concerto No. 4 In G, Op. 58 – Third Movement- Rondo. Vivace.aif
DR13        -0.92 dB     -18.45 dB     G Concerto No. 5 In E-Flat, Op. 73 (Emperor) – First Movement- Allegro.aif
DR13        -5.17 dB     -25.37 dB     H1 Concerto No. 5 In E-Flat, Op. 73 (Emperor) – Second Movement- Adagio Un Poco Mosso.aif
DR13        -0.97 dB     -18.08 dB     H2 Concerto No. 5 In E-Flat, Op. 73 (Emperor) – Third Movement- Rondo. Allegro.aif
———————————————————————————————-
Number of files:    15
Official DR value:    DR13
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Ripping Info

Monitoring

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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